This is a sample NOFO document.

It is the Generic template for the NOFO - Notice of Funding Opportunity.  It explains the types of information that is provided in each section of the NOFO. 

All IDHS grants will use this template as the basis for describing their Funding Opportunity.  Please see your respective IDHS division's Grant Information page for information on the current funding opportunities available.

NAME OF GRANT Notice of Funding Opportunity Summary Information

1. Awarding Agency Name: Name of State Agency
2. Agency Contact: Agency contact information for the application process:
name, email address and phone number
3. Announcement Type: Initial announcement
Modification of a previous announcement
4. Type of Assistance Instrument: Grant
5. Funding Opportunity Number: Required if this number was assigned by the funding entity
6. Funding Opportunity Title: CSFA Program Title
7. CSFA Number: CSFA Number must be assigned before NOFO can be completed
8. CSFA Popular Name: From the CSFA
9. CFDA Number(s): Enter "not applicable" if Source of Funding does not
include Federal or Federal pass-through funds
10. Anticipated Number of Awards: Specify, if known
If unknown, indicate"unknown"
11. Estimated Total Program Funding: Total amount of program funding available for award(s)
12. Award Range Minimum and maximum award amount
If not applicable, indicate"not applicable"
13. Source of Funding: Federal or Federal pass-through
Private / other funding
14. Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: Yes No
15. Indirect Costs Allowed Yes No
Restrictions on Indirect Costs

Yes No

If yes, provide the citation governing the restriction:

16. Posted Date: Date agency posted the NOFO to
17.Application Range: Period in which applications will be accepted
If there is no application due date: indicate "General announcement. There is no specified application period."
18. Technical Assistance Session: Session Offered: Yes No
Session Mandatory: Yes No
Specify date and time
Provide link to registration, if applicable

GRANT NAME NOFO Supplemental

(Agency-specific Content for the Notice of Funding Opportunity)

A. Program Description

This section contains the full program description of the funding opportunity, including the purpose of the program and the program objectives. It may be as long as needed to adequately communicate to potential applicants the areas in which funding may be provided. It describes the State awarding agency's funding priorities (which may be dictated by Federal requirements if the funds are Federal or Federal pass-through) or the technical or focus areas in which the State awarding agency intends to provide assistance. As appropriate, it may include any program history (e.g., whether this is a new program or a new or changed area of program emphasis). This section may communicate indicators of successful projects (e.g., if the program encourages collaborative efforts) and may include examples of projects that have been funded previously. This section also may include other information the State awarding agency deems necessary, and must at a minimum include citations for authorizing statutes and regulations for the funding opportunity.

Goals and measurement (Performance Measures) for the program should be outlined in this section.

2 CFR 200.76 defines a performance goal as a target level of performance expressed as a tangible, measurable objective, against which actual achievement can be compared, including a goal expressed as a quantitative standard, value, or rate. The agency should specify clear performance goals, indicators or milestones including timing and scope of expected performance as related to the outcomes intended to be achieved by the program. The agency must require the grantee to relate financial data to performance accomplishments of the award. Performance should be measured in a way that helps the state agency improve program outcomes, share lessons learned and spread the adoption of promising practices. Program-specific requirements should ultimately be aligned with agency strategic goals, results areas and outcomes as supported by the Illinois Performance Reporting System (IPRS).

B. Funding Information

This section provides sufficient information to help an applicant make an informed decision about whether to submit a proposal. Relevant information could include the total amount of funding that the State awarding agency expects to award through the announcement; the anticipated number of State awards; the expected amounts of individual State awards (which may be a range); the amount of funding per State award, on average, experienced in previous years; and the anticipated start dates and periods of performance for new State awards; the allowable and unallowable costs (or expenses).

This section should address whether applications for renewal or supplementation of existing projects are eligible to compete with applications for new State awards. This section also must indicate the type(s) of assistance instrument (e.g., grant or cooperative agreement) that may be awarded if applications are successful.

The agency must instruct the applicant to submit a project plan that describes how the award will be executed. The project plan should include necessary detail to enable the agency to manage the grant agreement activity against planned project performance.

C. Eligibility Information

This section addresses the considerations or factors that determine applicant or application eligibility.  This includes the eligibility of particular types of applicant organizations, any factors affecting the eligibility of the principal investigator or project director, and any criteria that make particular projects ineligible. State agencies should specify whether an applicant's failure to meet an eligibility criterion by the application deadline will result in the State awarding agency returning the application without review or, even though an application may be reviewed, will preclude the State awarding agency from making a State award. An entity may not apply for a grant until the entity has registered and pre-qualified through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) website,, Grantee Links tab.

Registration and pre-qualification are required annually. During pre-qualification, verifications are performed including a check of federal Debarred and Suspended and status on the Illinois Stop Payment List. An automated email notification to the entity alerts them of "qualified" status or informs how to remediate a negative verification (e.g., inactive DUNS, not in good standing with the Secretary of State). A federal Debarred and Suspended status cannot be remediated.

Key elements to be addressed are:

  1. Eligible Applicants. Announcements must clearly identify the types of entities that are eligible to apply. If there are no restrictions on eligibility, this section may simply indicate that all potential applicants are eligible. If there are restrictions on eligibility, be clear about the specific types of entities that are eligible, not just the types that are ineligible. For example, if the program is limited to nonprofit organizations subject to 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) of the tax code (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)), the announcement should say so. Eligibility also can be expressed by exception, (e.g., open to all types of domestic applicants other than individuals). This section should include references to specifying documentation that must be submitted to support an eligibility determination (e.g., proof of 501(c)(3) status as determined by the Internal Revenue Service). To the extent that any funding restriction could affect the eligibility of an applicant or project, the announcement must either restate that restriction in this section or provide a cross-reference to its description.
    Agencies should seek cultural inclusion among grantees. The agency must comply with all applicable provisions of state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to nondiscrimination, sexual harassment and equal employment opportunity including, but not limited to: The Illinois Human Rights Act (775 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq.), The Public Works Employment Discrimination Act (775 ILCS 10/1 et seq.), The United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended) (42 USC 2000a-and 2000H-6), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC 794), The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 USC 12101 et seq.), and The Age Discrimination Act (42 USC 6101 et seq.). 
  2. Cost Sharing or Matching. Announcements must state whether there is required cost sharing,matching, or cost participation. If cost sharing is not required, the announcement must explicitly say so. Required cost sharing may be a certain percentage or amount, or may be in the form of contributions of specified items or activities (e.g., provision of equipment). The announcement must be clear about any restrictions on the types of cost (e.g., in-kind contributions) acceptable as cost sharing. Cost sharing as an eligibility criterion includes requirements based in statute or regulation, as described in § 200.306 Cost Sharing or Matching. This section should refer to the appropriate portion(s) of Application and Submission Information stating any pre-award requirements for submission of letters or other documentation to verify commitments to meet cost-sharing requirements if a State award is made.
  3. Indirect Cost Rate. In order to charge indirect costs to a grant, the applicant organization must have an annually negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA). There are three types of NICRAs: a) Federally Negotiated Rate. Organizations that receive direct federal funding, may have an indirect cost rate that was negotiated with the Federal Cognizant Agency. Illinois will accept the federally negotiated rate. The organization must provide a copy of the federally NICRA. b) State Negotiated Rate. The organization must negotiate an indirect cost rate with the State of Illinois if they do not have a Federally Negotiated Rate. Or the organization may elect to use the De Minimis Rate. If an organization has not previously established in indirect cost rate, an indirect cost rate proposal must be submitted to the State of Illinois through the indirect cost rate system, CARS, no later than three months after the effective date of the award. If an organization previously established an indirect cost rate, the organization must annually submit a new indirect cost proposal through CARS within six months after the close of the grantee's fiscal year. All grantees must complete an indirect cost rate negotiation or elect the De Minimis Rate in CARS to claim indirect costs. Indirect costs claimed without an established negotiated rate or a De Minimis Rate election in CARS may be subject to disallowance. c) De Minimis Rate. An organization that has never received a Federally Negotiated Rate may elect a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct cost (MTDC). Once established, the de minimis rate may be used indefinitely. The State of Illinois must verify the calculation of the MTDC annually in order to accept the de minimis rate. 
    1. Limitations on indirect costs restrict the amount and/or type of indirect costs that are allowed to be charged to grant awards. Indirect cost limitations and restrictions must be clearly stated in this section. For example, the grant award may be subject to state and federal statutory requirements that limit the allowability of costs. The maximum amount allowable under a limitation cannot exceed the total amount under the NICRA. State and federal statutes may restrict the amount of salary that can be charged to a grant award, if the base salary exceeds the Federal Executive Level II Pay Scale. If additional statutory restrictions or limitations are imposed, such as parameters for direct administrative costs, facility costs, and indirect administrative cost levels, those restrictions or limitations must be stated in this section. The statutory reference or guidance imposing the indirect cost limitation or restriction must also be stated within this section. 
    2. Grantees have discretion not to claim payment for indirect costs. Grantees that elect not to claim indirect costs cannot be reimbursed for indirect costs. The organization must record an election of "No Indirect Costs" into CARS.
  4. Other, if applicable. If there are other eligibility criteria (e.g., criteria that make an application or project ineligible for State awards such as "responsiveness", "go-no go", or "threshold" criteria), it must be clearly stated and must include a reference to the regulation of requirement that describes the restriction. For example, if entities that have been found to be in violation of a particular Federal or State statute are ineligible, it is important to say so. This section must state any limit on the number of applications an applicant may submit under the announcement and make clear whether the limitation is on the submitting organization, individual investigator/program director, or both. This section should also address any eligibility criteria for beneficiaries or program participants other than Federal pass-through or State award recipients.

D. Application and Submission Information

  1. Address to Request Application Package. Potential applicants must be told how to get application forms, kits, or other materials needed to apply. (If this announcement contains everything needed, this section should specify that all application materials are provided through this announcement). An Internet address for accessing materials is acceptable. However, since high-speed Internet access is not yet universally available for downloading documents and applicants may have additional accessibility requirements, there must also be a way for potential applicants to request paper copies of materials (e.g., U.S. Postal Service mailing address, telephone or FAX number, Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD), Text Telephone (TTY) number, and/or Federal or State Information Relay Service number).
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission. This section must identify the required content of an application and the forms or formats an applicant must use to submit the application if requirements are stated elsewhere, this section should refer to where those requirements may be found. This section also should include required forms or formats as part of the announcement or state where the applicant may obtain them. This section should specifically address content and form or format requirements for:
    1. Pre-applications, letters of intent, or white papers required or encouraged, including any limitations on the number of pages or other formatting requirements similar to those for full applications. ii.
    2. The application as a whole. For all submissions, this would include any limitations on the number of pages, font size and typeface, margins, paper size, number of copies, and sequence or assembly requirements. If electronic submission is permitted or required, this could include special requirements for formatting or signatures. 
    3. Component pieces of the application (e.g., all application copies must bear original signatures on the face page or program narrative may not exceed 10 pages). This includes any pieces that may be submitted separately by third parties (e.g., references or letters confirming commitments from third parties that will be contributing a portion of any required cost sharing). 
    4. Information that successful applicants must submit after notification of intent to make a State award, but prior to a State award. This could include evidence of compliance with requirements relating to human subjects or information needed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370h).
    5. This information should be displayed so it is easy to understand and use. A summary table may help applicants by becoming a checklist to verify the completeness of their application package before submission.
  3. Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM). This paragraph must state clearly that each applicant (unless the applicant is an individual or Federal or State awarding agency that is exempt from those requirements under 2 CFR § 25.110(b) or (c), or has an exception approved by the Federal or State awarding agency under 2 CFR § 25.110(d)) is required to:
    1. Be registered in SAM before submitting its application. To establish a SAM registration, go to  and/or utilize this instructional link: How to Register in SAM  from the  Resource Links tab. 
    2. Provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and 
    3. Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal, Federal pass-through or State award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal or State awarding agency. It also must state that the State awarding agency may not make a Federal pass-through or State award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the State awarding agency is ready to make a Federal pass-through or State award, the State awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal pass-through or State award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal pass-through or State award to another applicant.
  4. Submission Dates and Times
    Announcements must identify due dates and times for all submissions. Competitive funding opportunities must be available for application for at least forty-five (45) calendar days. No funding opportunity should be available for less than 30 calendar days unless exigent circumstances require as determined by the state awarding agency. This includes not only the full application but also any preliminary submissions (e.g., letters of intent, white papers, or pre-applications). It also includes any other submissions of information before State award that are separate from the full application. If the funding opportunity is a general announcement that is open for a period of time with no specific due dates for applications, this section should say so. Note that the information on dates that are included in this section also must appear in the Summary Information). Each type of submission should be designated as encouraged or required and, if required, any deadline date (or dates, if the State awarding agency plans more than one cycle of application submission, review, and State award under the announcement) should be specified. The announcement must state (or provide a reference to another document that states):
    1. Any deadline in terms of a date and local time. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal or State holiday, the reporting package is due the next business day.
    2. What the deadline means (e.g., whether it is the date and time by which the State awarding agency must receive the application, the date by which the application must be postmarked, or something else) and, the submission method (e.g., mail, electronic, or personal/courier delivery), if relevant.
    3. The effect of missing a deadline (e.g., whether late applications are neither reviewed nor considered or are reviewed and considered under some circumstances).
    4. How the receiving State office determines whether an application or pre-application has been submitted before the deadline. This includes the form of acceptable proof of mailing or system-generated documentation of receipt date and time.
      This section also may indicate whether, when, and in what form the applicant will receive an acknowledgement of receipt.
  5. Intergovernmental Review, if applicable. If the funding opportunity is subject to Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal or State Programs," the notice must say so. In alerting applicants that they must contact their state's Single Point of Contact (SPOC) to find out about and comply with the state's process under Executive Order 12372. If applicable, inform potential applicants that the names and addresses of the SPOCs are listed in the Office of Management and Budget's Web site.
  6. Funding Restrictions. Notices must include information on funding restrictions in order to allow an applicant to develop an application and budget consistent with program requirements. Examples include: specification of unallowable activity, limits on direct costs such as foreign travel or equipment purchases, limits on indirect costs (or facilities and administrative costs). Applicants must be advised if State awards will not allow reimbursement of pre-award costs.
  7. Other Submission Requirements. This section must address any other submission requirements not included in the other paragraphs of this section. This might include the format of submission (e.g., paper or electronic, for each type of required submission). Applicants should not be required to submit in more than one format. This section should indicate whether they may choose to submit applications in hard copy or electronically, or if a hard copy or electronic copy is required.

    This section also must indicate where applications (and any pre-applications) must be submitted if sent by postal mail, electronic means, or hand-delivery. For postal mail submission, this must include the name of an office, official, individual or function (e.g., application receipt center) and a complete mailing address. For electronic submission, this must include: URL or email address; whether a password(s) is required; whether particular software or other electronic capabilities are required; what to do in the event of system problems; and a point of contact if the applicant experiences technical difficulties.1

1 With respect to electronic methods for providing information about funding opportunities or accepting applicants' submissions of information, each State awarding agency is responsible for compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794d).

E. Application Review Information

  1. Criteria. This section must address the criteria that the State awarding agency will use to evaluate applications. This includes the merit and other review criteria that evaluators will use to judge applications, including any statutory, regulatory, or other preferences (e.g., minority status preferences) that will be applied in the review process. These criteria are separate from eligibility criteria that are addressed before an application is accepted for review, and program policy or other factors applied during the selection process or after the review process is completed. The intent is to make the application process transparent so applicants can make informed decisions when preparing their applications to maximize fairness of the process. The announcement should clearly describe all criteria, including any sub-criteria. If criteria vary in importance, the announcement should specify the relative percentages, weights, or other means used to distinguish among them. For statutory, regulatory, or other preferences, the announcement should provide a detailed explanation of those preferences with an explicit indication of their effect (e.g., whether they result in additional points being assigned).  If an applicant's proposed cost sharing will be considered in the review process (as opposed to being an eligibility criterion), the announcement must specifically address how it will be considered (e.g., to assign a certain number of additional points to applicants who offer cost sharing, or to break ties among applications with equivalent scores after evaluation against all other factors). If cost sharing will not be considered in the evaluation, the announcement should state this so there is no ambiguity. It also is important that the announcement be clear about any restrictions on the types of cost (e.g., in-kind contributions) that are acceptable as cost sharing.
  2. Review and Selection Process. In addition to the narrative from the Merit Based Review Policy, the announcement must list any program policy or other factors or elements, other than merit criteria, that the agency may use in selecting applications for State award (e.g., geographical dispersion, program balance, or diversity). The State awarding agency may also include other appropriate details such as who is responsible for evaluation against the merit criteria (e.g., peers external to the State awarding agency or State awarding agency personnel) and/or who makes the final selections for State awards. If there is a multi-phase review process (e.g., an external panel advising internal State awarding agency personnel who make final recommendations to the deciding official), the announcement must specify the phases and may describe the phases. It also may include: the number of people on an evaluation panel and how it operates, the way reviewers are selected, reviewer qualifications, and the way that conflicts of interest are avoided. The appeal process must also be specified pursuant to the Merit Based Review Policy.If the State awarding agency permits applicants to nominate suggested reviewers of their applications or suggest those they feel may be inappropriate due to a conflict of interest, that information should be included in this section.
  3. Anticipated Announcement and State Award Dates, if applicable. This section is intended to provide applicants with information they can use for planning purposes. If there is a single application deadline followed by the simultaneous review of all applications, the State awarding agency can include in this section information about the anticipated dates for announcing or notifying successful and unsuccessful applicants and for having State awards in place. If applications are received and evaluated on a "rolling" basis at different times during an extended period, it may be appropriate to give applicants an estimate of the time needed to process an application and notify the applicant of the State awarding agency's decision.

F. Award Administration Information

  1. State Award Notices. This section must address what a successful applicant can expect to receive following selection. The State awarding agency must provide the successful applicant a Notice of State Award (NOSA) which specifies the funding terms and specific conditions resulting from the pre-award risk assessments. The NOSA must be accepted through the Grantee Portal. Use this section to indicate that the NOSA is not an authorization to begin performance or incur costs. This section should indicate that the NOSA will be provided through Grantee Portal unless an alternative distribution has been established by the awarding state agency and approved by GATU. This section may also address the timing, form, and content of notifications to unsuccessful applicants. See also § 200.210 Information contained in a State award.
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements. This section must identify the administrative and national policy requirements of the State awarding agency. This section should reference the detailed indirect cost rate requirements and limitations as stated in Section C. 3. Indirect Cost Rate. Early notification about the requirements allows the potential applicant to decide if they should and/or could apply or to take needed actions before receiving the State award. The NOFO need not include all of the terms and conditions of the State award, but must refer to the Notice of State Award (NOSA) to be distributed by the awarding agency prior to issuance of a grant agreement. The NOSA will specify the terms and conditions of the award.  If this funding opportunity will lead to State awards with special terms and conditions that differ from the State awarding agency's "general" terms and conditions, this section should highlight those special terms and conditions. The announcement should inform potential applicants about special requirements that could apply to particular State awards after the review of applications and other information, based on the particular circumstances of the effort to be supported (e.g., if human subjects were to be involved or if some situations may justify special terms on intellectual property, data sharing or security requirements). The state awarding agency's terms and conditions are also specified in the NOSA.
  3. Reporting. This section must include general information about the type (e.g., financial and performance), frequency, and means of submission (paper or electronic) of post- State award reporting requirements. Use of the statewide periodic performance reporting templates should be addressed in this section. Highlight any special reporting requirements for State awards under this funding opportunity that differ (e.g., by report type, frequency, form/format, or circumstances for use) from general requirements of the State awarding agency's State awards.

G. State Awarding Agency Contact(s)

The announcement must give potential applicants a point(s) of contact for answering questions or helping with problems while the funding opportunity is open. The intent of this requirement is to be as helpful as possible to potential applicants. The State awarding agency should consider approaches such as giving:

  1. Points of contact who may be reached in multiple ways (e.g., by telephone, FAX, and/or email, as well as regular mail).
  2. A fax or email address that multiple people access, so that someone will respond even if others are unexpectedly absent during critical periods.
  3. Different contacts for distinct kinds of inquiries (e.g., separate contacts for programmatic questions and fiscal / administrative questions).

H. Other Information, if applicable

H. Other Information, if applicable

This section may include any additional information that will assist a potential applicant. For example, the section might:

  1. Indicate whether this is a new program or a one-time initiative.
  2. Mention related programs or other upcoming or ongoing State awarding agency funding opportunities for similar activities.
  3. Include current Internet addresses for State awarding agency Web sites that may be useful to an applicant in understanding the program.
  4. Alert applicants to the need to identify proprietary information and inform them about the way the State awarding agency will handle it.
  5. Include certain routine notices to applicants (e.g., that the State government is not obligated to make any State award as a result of the announcement or that only grants officers can bind the State government to the expenditure of funds).

Mandatory Forms -- Required for All Agencies

  1. Uniform State Grant Application
  2. Project Narrative
  3. Budget using the Uniform Budget Template (CSA Budget
  4. Budget Narrative